Author's note: **sigh** This is the end, my friends. The last chapter. I've skipped ahead a little in time and it's a little bit of just random fluff but it's important fluff because it is setting up for the next adventure for our favorite pair! Most of you already know where I'm going with this. Please, if you are at all interested, keep your eyes out for the next installment. I hope to have in out within the next couple of days but I can't make any promises because unfortunately I am back in school so my time is consumed by homework again. I just want to say how wonderful all of you who reviewed this story and who added this story and me to their alerts. It is so encouraging to have support from people like you and I hope you all follow me on to the next one.
Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself... 'How did I get through all of that?~Anonymous.
"I will not have your illegitimate child, McGarrett!" Danny randomly yelled as he clutched at the door handle as Steve took another turn on two wheels. He hadn't even been back to work two weeks yet but he was certainly back to his old ways.
"What?" Steve quickly glanced over at his partner before returning his attention to the road.
"If we're going to have a family, we're going to do it the right way. I will not have a bastard child." Danny expounded upon. Steve was bewildered. It had been almost three months since they had that conversation in the hospital room in Italy. He had asked Danny to think about the idea of having a family which his partner had agreed to. Steve just hadn't expected him to bring the topic back up while they were in the middle of chasing their latest suspect.
"Are you asking me to marry you?" Steve scrunched up his face.
"Yes." Danny responded, never taking his eyes off the road.
"That was the shittiest proposal I've ever heard. And why are you telling me all of this now?" Steve questioned, taking another sharp turn.
"I wanted to make sure I said it before you get us killed with your latest half cocked plan. We can do sappy and romantic later, right now I just want an answer." Danny shouted, clutching at the dashboard now.
"Yes." Steve said.
"Yes, we'll get married?"
"Yes, I will make you Mrs. Steve McGarrett." Steve said with a cocky smile on his face.
"If you weren't driving right now, I would hit you so hard..." Danny warned, daring a glance as his partner.
"That's spousal abuse." Steve declared pointing a warning finger at the other man.
"Spousal abuse? Are you kidding me? You abuse me every day!"
"Not on purpose." Steve said innocently. Danny just looked at him. Steve gave him one of his bright smiles and Danny just groaned. He hated that smile. That smile never meant good things for him.
"Why would I take your name anyways?" Danny asked after a few minutes of silence. "Why wouldn't you become Williams?"
"Because you've been married before, you've already given your name to someone. I haven't." Steve explained like it was common knowledge. Danny scrunched up his in a mixture of confusion and anger.
"There's no rule that says that you can only give your name once." He shot back.
"You took my name before when I was deployed." Steve reminded.
"I did not have a choice in that matter. This is a completely different situation." Danny corrected.
"Fine, then neither of us will change our names." Steve pouted, keeping his eyes on the road.
"Now that's a passive aggressive answer." Danny frowned.
He wasn't sure how to explain where he was coming from for fear of hurting his partner. He really didn't have anything against changing his name from Williams to McGarrett. A name was a name and it wasn't like he had such a strong bond with his own family that he felt some kind of overwhelming pride by being a Williams. It was the social implications that came along with taking Steve's name.
As a cop, he used his name multiple times a day talking to witnesses and suspects. He signed his reports with it. He was referred to by other cops by it. And while it may have been shallow, Danny was afraid that if he took Steve's last name the other cops on the force would think that his partner somehow owned him and held the power over him. In short, he feared that people wouldn't take him as seriously if he changed his name.
Danny looked over at Steve who was staring impassively as he drove. How had his life taken this turn? A couple of years ago he was an average cop with a wife and a daughter in New Jersey. Now here he was talking about marriage with his crazy male Navy SEAL of a partner and becoming a father once again in Hawaii. His life had done a complete 180 and somehow, he was perfectly okay with it.
Danny threw a shirt at Steve.
"So when are you going to get your tattoo fixed?" He asked. Steve looked at him oddly.
"What are you talking about?"
"Your tattoo." Danny said slowly, pointing to his recently healed arm. "The doc really mangled it-"
"He was trying to save my arm. Pretty sure my ink was the last of his worries." Steve interrupted. Danny looked annoyed.
"I understand that. I was just wondering when you were going to get it fixed so it doesn't look like a jigsaw puzzle anymore."
"I hadn't really planned to fix it." Steve shrugged. Danny was right. His tattoo did look messed up with all the cuts and scar lines but Steve had been more worried about it being functional than being pretty.
"You're seriously just going to leave it like that?" Danny asked incredulously.
"Ya. Why? Does that bother you?"
"Yes as a matter of fact it does. Because every day I have to look at your arm and be reminded of the worst moment of my life. Every day I have to look at those jagged little lines and marks and think 'thank god it was his arm' and how close it could have been to your heart." Danny ranted and Steve could tell by the breathless sound in his voice that he was trying to hold his emotions back. He closed the distance between them and put his hands on his lover's shoulders.
"If it bothers you this much I'll go next Saturday and get it fixed."
"Next Saturday is no good. We have Grace and you promised her that you would take her swimming." Danny reminded. "We'll go sometime this week after work."
"Don't get any ideas. I am not marking up my body. I just want to make sure that they don't make it look worse."
"Aw come one, you won't even get one with Grace's name on it?" Steve whined.
As Danny continued to argue with Steve about the reasons why he would never get a tattoo, he thought back to standing in this very room a year ago and having a very different kind of argument. Lying in bed that night, he wondered if his life would ever be this normal again. A year ago, he had been convinced that his little bubble of happiness was about to burst again. But as he looked at his partner and the new ring that had found its way onto his finger earlier in the evening, Danny realized that his happiness was only just beginning.